The paper highlights general approach to creating cognitive adaptive robots with imitative thinking and adaptive behavior as an assistant to humans in various fields of activity. Communicative-associative symbolic-language thinking logic allows the creation of cognitive adaptive robots for different spheres of life. Specialization of cognitive adaptive robots is carried out on the basis of knowledge bases, bases of abilities and implementers of behavior. Adaptive behavior is guided by imitative thinking on a human task and is carried out by models of environment and behavior. Specialization of the robot is set by the subject knowledge base and base of abilities, and equipment (sensors, sensors, manipulators, motor systems and other devices). For collaborative robotics, you need a soft, sensitive, and naturally highly intelligent solution. The focus here is on pneumatic light robots, which are inherently designed to work together and can present a cost-effective alternative to humans in the future. The cognitive robot, by increasing visual, sound, substantive, spatial and temporal sensitivity, is able to acquire new skills and accumulate experience of behavior with the necessary technical means. New skills are taught by a retraining system in virtual space, and then the robot develops them in a specific environment. Thus, the professional experience of the cognitive robot in various specific environments is gradually accumulated and its sensitivity is increased. Cognitive adaptive retractable robots with imitative thinking, adaptive behavior, and increased sensitivity have the prospect of widespread practical application.